Reinforce school bus safety on and off the bus
School buses take to the roads every morning and afternoon for nine months, and that means you need to be a cautious driver throughout the school year, not just during the first week of school. Whether you're sending your child to school or driving behind a bus on your way to work, keep these points in mind.
Talk to your children about safety on and around the bus. Remind them to:
- Always cross in front of the bus
- Wait for the bus driver to signal before crossing
It's up to you to be on the lookout for children – especially in school zones, playgrounds, and neighborhoods. Plus, you need to know the rules about driving near a school bus.
Here are a few key reminders:
- Buses have red flashing lights and a stop sign that extends to alert traffic when students are getting on and off. When a bus uses its lights and/or stop sign:
- Traffic in both directions is required to stop on an undivided road.
- It's illegal to pass a bus that is stopped to let children on or off.
- Drive at least 10 feet behind a bus to allow for stops – buses make frequent stops including at all railroad crossings.
- Watch for any signals from the bus driver.
- Follow the directions of the school crossing guard.
- In most cases, vehicles on the opposite side of a divided highway are not required to stop for a bus. However, you should confirm your state's laws.
For specific bus laws in your state, like what to do on a divided highway or how far behind a bus you're required to stop, visit: http://drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/school-buses.
Click here for more safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.